Home SailingSailboat Racing Race to the Straits Sunday 2014: The Long Sunday Slog Home

Race to the Straits Sunday 2014: The Long Sunday Slog Home

by Bruce Hedrick

From all indications it had to be a pretty fast run north to Port Townsend. In a perfect world, the front would go through Saturday night and very early Sunday morning, with a post frontal westerly filling down the Straits, then down Admiralty Inlet, and finally down the Sound to the finish at Shilshole. A two way run for the Race to the Straits. Unfortunately, it is not to be.

Click on any image to enlarge.

UW Wind Model at 10m, 0800 hrs
UW Wind Model at 10m, 1100 hrs
UW Wind Model at 10m, 1400hrs
UW Wind Model at 10m, 1700 hrs
UW Wind Model at 10m, 2000 hrs

The breeze is going to stay out of the south-southwest and it could get pretty lumpy between noon and 1600 hrs. So before you leave the dock in PT on Sunday morning it would be a good idea to rig the jacklines for your safety harnesses because you should be wearing them and your PFD the entire race. Then give the standing rigging and lifeline terminals a close visual inspection to make sure they are properly secured. Then, since it could be light in the morning for the start, hoist the headsail in the port groove so you can do an inside hoist of your small headsail on starboard tack. You can probably skip shifting down to the #2 and go straight to the #3 or #4 because it certainly appears that you could have 20knots + for most of the beat once you get south of Marrowstone.

Predict Wind 1100 hrs.
PredictWind 1400 hrs
PredictWind 1700 hrs

As I said yesterday, it will pay to cross to the Whidbey shore earlier rather than later to get out of the building ebb tide. The real challenge will come after Double Bluff as the ebb will be rolling and the Whidbey Island shore will be a lee shore with a lot of lump. You’ll probably hold starboard tack after you round the mark at Double Bluff and beat into the current and waves until you can tack to port and cross the Sound to get into the lee between Pt No Pt and Foulweather Bluff in Skunk Bay. By this time the breeze should shift slightly from the south to the south-southwest meaning you’ll be on long starboard tacks and short port tacks as you beat down the west side of the Sound, short tacking the beach, watching the depth sounder and your SOG.

In addition to the flood tide starting first on the west side, you’ll also find the water to be flatter in there as the breeze clocks around. You’ll want to stay on the west side all the way down to Jeff Head and maybe slightly further south until you can tack to starboard and lay the finish at Shilshole.

Be careful out there and have a safe sail home.

Good luck!

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1 comment

David Odendahl May 5, 2014 - 12:16

Thanks for the weather briefs. They were very helpful to us, as this was our first RTTS.

We did not start on Sunday, based on your report as well as NOAA’s.. Turned out we made the right decision


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